Vegetarian and cancer
You might have a general idea that eating a vegetarian diet is more healthy for you. But
do you really know how much less the incidence is of certain types of cancers among
Vegetarian diets—naturally low in saturated fat, high in fiber, and replete with cancer-
protective phytochemicals—help to prevent cancer. Large studies in England and
Germany have shown that vegetarians are about 40 percent less likely to develop cancer
compared to meat-eaters.
In the U.S., studies of Seventh-Day Adventists, who are largely lacto-ovo vegetarians,
have shown significant reductions in cancer risk among those who avoided meat.
Similarly, breast cancer rates are dramatically lower in nations, such as China, that follow
Interestingly, Japanese women who follow Western-style, meat-based diets are eight
times more likely to develop breast cancer than women who follow a more traditional
plant-based diet. Meat and dairy products contribute to many forms of cancer, including
cancer of the colon, breast, ovaries, and prostate.
Harvard studies that included tens of thousands of women and men have shown that
regular meat consumption increases colon cancer risk by roughly 300 percent. High-fat
diets also encourage the body’s production of estrogens. Increased levels of this sex
hormone have been linked to breast cancer. A recent report noted that the rate of breast
cancer among premenopausal women who ate the most animal (but not vegetable) fat
was one-third higher than that of women who ate the least animal fat.
A separate study from Cambridge University also linked diets high in saturated fat to
breast cancer. One study linked dairy products to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. The
process of breaking down the lactose (milk sugar) evidently damages the ovaries. Daily
meat consumption triples the risk of prostate enlargement. Regular milk consumption
doubles the risk and failure to consume vegetables regularly nearly quadruples the risk.
Vegetarians avoid the animal fat linked to cancer and get abundant fiber, vitamins, and
phytochemicals that help to prevent cancer. In addition, blood analysis of vegetarians
reveals a higher level of “natural killer cells,” specialized white blood cells that attack
Vegetarian and cancer
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